Game of Thrones' fourth season starts on Sunday, which means BOOM! It's time for our Game of Thrones issue, which features what might be my favorite Mercury cover ever, featuring design by Justin "Scrappers" Morrison and majestic art by the incomparable Boris Vallejo.
The Mercury's Game of Thrones Issue, better known as what happens when my boss goes out of town and I get to loudly declare "WE'RE DOING A GAME OF THRONES ISSUE, LET'S HURRY UP AND PRINT IT BEFORE HE GETS BACK," kicks off with "A Note from the Editor" ("To all employees: Under no circumstances should you write a Game of Thrones issue while I'm gone"), and goes on to include so many excellent pieces of pure gold that even a Lannister would be embarrassed by the all the riches. They include:
• Marjorie's guide to the show's fourth season, in which she brazenly and unapologetically advocates drug use
• Alison's thoughts on Game of Thrones spoilers (settle down, you whiny little babies who can't be bothered to read the books, her thoughts are spoiler-free)
• Bobby's suggestions to Daenerys to gets some better dragons already, like maybe that one from the X-Men, but definitely not that one that talks like Sean Connery
• Ned and Dirk fighting TO THE DEATH about whether the books are better than the show (or vice versa); please note that whoever is declared the winner of this battle will be
allowed required to MURDER the other
• Joe Streckert bringing you the very worst at George R.R. Martin's "anatomical, mechanical, and above all, gross" sex writing, in a piece that will either inexplicably arouse you or make you never want to have sex ever again
Unless Steve goes out of town next year—and unless his vacation is timed right around the time of GOT's fifth season premiere—this will probably be the last Game of Thrones issue we're ever allowed to do, so enjoy it while it lasts. It all starts right here.